Your First Employee


Written by Tricia Petteys

When we watch business owners grow and move into the realm of being able to hire their first employees, we get so excited for them. Once they are able to delegate some of their responsibilities, they are able to focus on what they do best and really shine.


When they reach out to us about the accountability process involved in on-boarding a new employee, they are often shocked at what goes into hiring just one person.


There may be other items depending on the field of business and the state of hire, but these are the basic forms for hiring a new employee:


  • W-4 - This is the form that will designate the calculation for withholding. Many states have state-specific withholding forms as well.
  • I-9 - Verification of eligibility of employment is a form that has the potential to be audited for current and former employees. Making sure you are completing and storing the forms according to the Federal guidelines will ensure any potential audits go smoothly. 
  • Background check authorizations - background checks can be a very useful tool when vetting potential employees. However, authorizations must be signed to disclose to the candidate that the information will be used as a condition of their employment. Some states have additional disclosures required here as well.
  • Direct deposit form - Providing direct deposit to your employees either through your internal software or through the use of a payroll processing company is more secure and efficient than paper checks. Having authorization and verification of an employee's banking information is key to making sure the process continues smoothly.


As with all best practices (especially involving human capital management), consistency is key. Decide on a systematic and precise process and stick to it. Enlisting the help of a professional to set things up accurately is also recommended.